Hockey: Mixed fortunes for Wisbech Town
PUBLISHED: 13:00 13 December 2019
Wisbech Town's men showed plenty of spirit and determination in their 3-0 loss to Bishop's Stortford.
It has been a difficult first half of the season for Wisbech, but they began brightly and created a number of chances, only to come up against an in-form goalkeeper.
Stortford took the lead late in the first half with a scrambled effort, but Wisbech remained in positive mood during the break.
And they continued to press in the second half, forcing the Stortford keeper to make a number of fine saves, notably from debutant Ben Shore, Sam Markillie and Jamie Hallett.
As they pushed for an equaliser the game became more open, which made for a very entertaining affair for the neutral.
But with five minutes to go Stortford converted a short corner to jubilant scenes, before adding a third with 30 seconds left, but Wisbech will go into their last match of 2019 this weekend with renewed hope and confidence.
The seconds hit second-placed Wellingborough for six in their clash, after a first-ever hat-trick from Calvin Bishop.
They combined well from the start to race into a 3-0 lead after just 16 minutes, as Bishop fired home a cracking early strike and then added a second soon after.
Lee Punter slotted the third, before Wellingborough began to put the Wisbech defence under pressure and scrambled a reply before the half-hour mark.
Joe Else continued to cause problems on the left, providing great balls into the D, and Matt Pooley finished from a short corner for the fourth goal.
Several Wellingborough attacks were denied by a solid defence and keeper, but man of the match Bishop completed his hat-trick on 52 minutes, with Josh Porter sealing a 6-1 win on the hour to leave Wisbech fifth heading into the winter break.
Both sides enjoyed a post-match Christmas dinner, supplied by Stephanie Garner and Sharon Hallatt, who received gifts of wine as thanks.
The thirds produced a great all-round display to thump Ely City seconds by an 8-2 margin.
Elliot Peck led the way with four goals, as Josh Bowers added a brace and Mike Lawrence and Nick Eggleton, with a stunning effort, also got in on the act.
Olly Mitchell took the man of the match award for Wisbech, who sit at the top of the table with one game left to play before the Christmas break.
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The fourths slipped to a 3-0 defeat against Kettering fifths, after conceding three second-half goals.
Wisbech missed a penalty flick, as Nidge Lowe took the man of the match award.
*Wisbech Town's women were put to the sword by table-topping Sudbury in an 8-0 defeat.
Having not played the previous weekend due to bad weather, they made a determined start.
But despite their attacking efforts, they could not convert and found themselves two goals down at the break.
Sudbury pulled clear in the second half, led by a very talented attacker, as goalkeeper Louisa Thompson took the player of the match award for Wisbech for some fantastic saves.
The seconds beat Spalding by the odd goal in five, after a game of two halves.
Under pressure from the start, they saw Spalding score twice before the break.
But Wisbech turned things around as Lisa Lowe's clearance found Jane Peggs, who crossed for Lou Sandall to score.
Good work by Emma Baker on the right led to an equaliser from Oliwia Bolka and Wisbech continued to pile on the pressure.
More great work by Baker saw Andrea Eggleton get on the end of a shot from the top of the D to clinch the points.
Lou Walker took the player of the match award for a hard-working displlay as Wisech go into the break at the top of the table.
A depleted third team travelled to Newmarket fourths with only 10 players - and four of those were non-regular hockey players.
Lisa Jackson played as an emergency goalkeeper - and would earn the player of the match award - and the decision to fulfil the fixture, rather than concede a 5-0 win, paid off.
They held the home side to just one goal in the first half but, despite a few breaks and some good goalkeeping, Wisbech were unable to score themselves.
Newmarket took advantage of an overload midway through the second half to double their lead, before adding a late third from a short corner.